The word diabetes was coined by the 2nd-century A.D. Greek physician, Aretus the Cappadocian, meaning ‘the siphon’ as the condition is characterized by excessive urination.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas either does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Hyperglycaemia, or raised blood sugar, is a common effect of uncontrolled diabetes and over time leads to serious damage to many of the body’s systems, especially the nerves and blood vessels. The word mellitus was added to diabetes in 1675 by Thomas Willis. Mel in Latin means honey and refers to the excess of glucose in the urine and blood of people with diabetes.

Types of diabetes

According to WHO, there are three main types of diabetes:

Diabetes Type 1 – The body does not produce insulin at all. Also called early onset or juvenile diabetes, it requires the person to inject insulin throughout his/her life. People suffering from this types of diabetes are also very prone to ketoacidosis. The cause is not keravita pro certain and could be genetic, viral, or multifactorial.

Diabetes Type 2 – Also called maturity onset, Type 2 diabetes is a result of insulin resistance. The body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or is not able to utilize insulin effectively.

Gestational Diabetes – A form of diabetes that develops during pregnancy.

Diabetes Types 1 & 2 are chronic, lifelong medical conditions. Gestational diabetes usually disappears after the birth of a child but can later lead to type 2 diabetes.

Juvenile diabetes may be either Type 1 or Type 2, and is seen in children or adolescents.

Symptoms

Common symptoms of diabetes are:

  • Frequent urination
  • Disproportionate thirst
  • Intense hunger
  • Weight gain
  • Unusual weight loss (More common among people with Diabetes Type 1)
  • Increased fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Blurred vision
  • Cuts and bruises don’t heal properly or quickly
  • More skin and/or yeast infections
  • Itchy skin
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Numbness or tingling, especially in the feet and hands

Diabetes is typically detected by carrying out a urine test, followed by a blood test

High risk groups of diabetes

Certain people are at higher risk of getting Type 2 diabetes. High risk groups include those who:-

  • Are over 55
  • Have a family history of diabetes
  • Are overweight or obese
  • Have high blood pressure
  • Had diabetes during pregnancy or gave birth to a big baby (more than 9 pounds)
  • Are Southeast Asian, Asian Indian, Afro-American, Hispanic American or Native American
  • Have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
  • Have heart disease

There is only one way to check if you have diabetes: get your blood sugar level tested.

Diabetes related complications

Diabetes is a chronic, life-long condition that requires careful monitoring and management. Left untreated, it can lead to various complications such as kidney failure, cardiovascular disease, and blindness in some cases. Diabetes causes about 5% of all deaths globally each year. Diabetes deaths are likely to increase by more than 50% in the next 10 years without urgent action and preventive measures.

Short-term complications:

Low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia)

Anyone who suffers from diabetes and takes insulin is going to face the problem of blood sugar falling too low at some point. This state is called hypoglycaemia and can be corrected quickly by eating something sweet, like candy or plain sugar. If it is not corrected, hypoglycaemia can lead to the person losing consciousness.